modstep logo

Modstep: iPad MIDI Solutions For The Pros

modstep ipad

Many have dismissed the iPad and other tablets as tools for hobbyist producers rather than legitimate components of a professional studio setup. However, the potential of these devices with regards to pro production is beginning to blossom. Thanks to Zerodebug’s Modstep, audio professionals have some amazing capabilities at their fingertips (no pun intended!); the so-called “modulation monster” and fully-fledged MIDI sequencer is a unique beast, well-worth taming for your own creative purposes.

With the ability to function as a central hub for your music-making, Modstep allows you to manipulate MIDI with an unlimited number of tracks.  Utilizing Zerodebug’s Studiomux technology, users can stream both MIDI and Audio to their PC or Mac, or sequence external MIDI devices, Inter-App Audio software, and a built-in synth and sampler. Additionally, up to 128 MIDI CCs can be modulated on each track. Furthermore, the app is backward-compatible with all versions of the iPad, all the way back to the largely antiquated first generation release. Check out the video above to see Modstep in action, and head on over to the Apple App Store to purchase the app for for £14.99/$19.99.


New Headphones Aim To Get You High on Dopamine


A Florida-based tech company named Nervana has invented headphones that aim to enhance user experience by stimulating the release of dopamine in your brain.

Aimed at making the listener experience a high, the headphones contain a device that delivers a low-power electrical signal that stimulates the Vagus nerve – a nerve that runs from the brainstem to the abdomen and plays a role in the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.

Testing the product for Futurism, journalist Amanda Gutter writes, “I felt the electricity go into my arm, and everything was tingling there, but the best moment for me was afterwards when I finished and stood up. I felt like I reached a personal high point. I couldn’t stop smiling or laughing. I was like, ‘Oh wow’. For about 5 minutes, my happiness level was a 10 out of 10. Then it got foggier, but I was still unusually happy for about an hour.”

Rather than unselectively delivering the signal, the headphone’s technology will analyze the music’s distinct audio output before synching up the release of its stimulating signal to the beats.


Furthermore, according to Nervana the listener will be able to select “ambient mode”, allowing the headphones to sync up with the sounds in the surrounding environment. Theoretically, one could use them at a festival and experience a high directly associated to the music being played live in front of them.

Admittedly, the technology is yet to go through thorough peer-reviewing and there are no published background studies as of yet that back up the claims made by the company behind the product. While it’s unsure if the headphones will deliver as promised, Mic’s Jon Levine reports that the headphones will cost a cool $229 USD and are expected to go on sale next month. If used on the go, they will also require an external power generator to keep them running.

It is recommended that you do not use listen and drive while using the headphones and for at least thirty minutes after.

Head over to Nervana’s YouTube channel to view several video testimonials from users who have tried the headphones themselves.


Source: Science Alert


SoundCloud’s Future Bleak After Reporting $44m Losses


Throughout the last couple of years, SoundCloud has began attempts of monetizing their popular music platform by striking deals with record labels and music groups, including Merlin, a “Global Music Rights Agency” representing over 20,000 independent labels, Warner Music Group, and more recently with giants Universal Music Group.

A recent alarming Music Business Worldwide report, however, has shed light as to SoundCloud’s overheads and how those figures are by far out-shadowing the company’s revenue of recent years. The company’s 2014 financials paint a clear picture: While revenue reached $17.35m, the company’s losses were reported at $44.19m with employee wages increasing 42.5% to 20.3m – an average of $90,785 wage per employee. The report goes on to further specify that “in the three years from 2012-2014, SoundCloud lost almost €75m – but only brought in €37m in income.” Read more

Watch Zombie Nation Produce “Workhorse” on an Elektron Rytm

ZN1Most of us will remember Kernkraft 400, the big room anthem championed by Zombie Nation. From sports arenas to school dances, the track exploded throughout dance and mainstream culture. But Zombie Nation isn’t a one-hit wonder, with his recent EP on Turbo Recordings proving such.

“Something Else” is a four-track EP loaded with the quintessential sound that Zombie Nation has mastered. Straight up bubbly techno glitch funk madness (that’s a sub-genre right?) Call it what you will, it’s found a perfect home on Turbo Recordings.

You can listen to the previews and purchase the EP here, but the video below is well worth the watch as Zombie Nation shares an inside look at the making of “Workhorse”.  Armed with an Elektron Rytm, Analog Four, and Octatrack, Zombie Nation utilizes the tools to create a blissfully analog heavy track that will be in rotation for years to come.

Connect with Zombie Nation: Official Website / Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud / Beatport

Richie Hawtin Announces New Project with Allen & Heath and Audiotonix

richie live cntrl

It’s been a busy 2016 for Richie Hawtin already, with DJ sets at BPM and Los Angeles, along with the news that ENTER will not return to Ibiza this summer. The technology aficionado continues to make headlines with the announcement of ‘Play Differently‘ – a collaborative partnership with Allen & Heath and Audiotonix.

The news was announced at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, with Hawtin stating that “the ethos of Play Differently is to create products that will magnify the individuality and expand the creativity of today’s generation of electronic music artists, producers and DJs . We hope to encourage and inspire creatives to PLAY differently.”

Play Differently has apparently been in development for two years, and with gear mogul Allen & Heath in the mix (no pun intended), Play Differently will certainly be one of the major talking points of NAMM. Stay up to date with more information as more is revealed regarding the vague, yet exciting concept from Richie Hawtin.

Connect with Richie Hawtin on Twitter and Facebook


Dj Jazzy Jeff Isn’t Convinced About The New Technics Turntable

Dj jazzy jeff

While many rejoiced the return of the Technic SL-1200G, DJ Jazzy Jeff had other thoughts regarding the turntables forthcoming return into the marketplace. In a Facebook post (which you can see below), the esteemed turntablist stated that “they [Technics] never really gave support to the DJ community,” and continues to make a comparison giving somewhat of praise to the Pioneer PLX-1000.

Few would argue the influence of the original Technic turntable, as it played a major role in the development of DJ culture, but Jazzy Jeff will need some more convincing when it comes to the new SL-1200G. Regardless of his thoughts on the new turntable, Jazzy Jeff still holds his own and dominates on the 1’s and 2’s.

Jazzy Jeff FB screenshot

Moogfest 2016: Synthesis of Music, Art, and Technology

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 11.50.37 AMSince its inception in 2004, Moogfest has brought together the brilliant minds of entrepreneurs, philosophers, scientists, artists, musicians, engineers, and forward-thinkers for a weekend of progressive exchanges and inspirational demonstrations and presentations with regard to art, music, and technology. Read more

jean-michael jarre in studio

Jean-Michel Jarre Schools Us On The History Of Tech

jean-michael jarreJean-Michel Jarre is a world-renowned producer, performer, songwriter, and composer. He has been an enormous pioneer in electronic music production and performance, inspiring and sculpting generations to come. He learned from Pierre Schaeffer, the so-called “father of musique concrete,” and one of the most innovative composers of the 20th century. Musique concrete is a style that arose in the 50’s and involved playback of primarily non-musical recorded sounds (via tape loops and turntables). This marks the beginning of the sampling era, and the style would be intimately linked with the evolution of technology for decades to come, influencing artists such as Aphex Twin and Brian Eno.

jeam-michael-jarre gear wide

After concluding his studies, Jarre released the album, Oxygène (1976), produced in his DIY home studio. The album was an enormous success, and ultimately went 18x platinum. In total, Jean-Michael Jarre has sold 80 million copies of his 17 albums, and holds a space in the Guinness Book of Records (largest concert attendance) for the 3.5 million people that attended his 1997 performance in Moscow. In this exclusive video, courtesy of Native Instruments, Jarre goes in-depth into the evolution of music technology, and how this evolution affects both the creative and technical side of music-making.

Click here to read his full interview with NI.

boutique square

Roland Teases New “Boutique” Synths

roland boutique banner

Roland, one of the world’s most beloved producer of synthesizers, drum machines (including the iconic 808 and 909), and other audio gear, is notorious for slowly teasing us with vague announcements regarding upcoming products. They continue to push the envelope this day, venturing far outside the realm of traditional gear.

Most recently, they have released a video announcing “Boutique,” with little information other than short references to classic synthesizers such as the Jupiter-8 (1981), the JX-3P (1983), and the Juno-106 (1984). One can only imagine what to expect out of this new product, but the gear community will eagerly await for more news.

Stay up to date as Roland plans to unveil new information regarding the “Botique” synth line.

Listen to Windows Startup Sounds Slowed Down 4,000%


Windows 95 recently celebrated its 20th birthday. In honor of the machine and all it has provided humankind, one person has taken the Windows startup sounds, and slowed it down transforming them into pure ambient bliss. From Windows 95 to Windows XP, the textures created out of this technique yield incredible results of sonic manipulation. Evoking elements of a cinematic soundtrack, it’s hard to believe that such lush music and soundscapes could be the result of a six second startup sound for a computer.

Upon listening to these recordings it feels as if one is traveling through the different dimensions theorized in Interstellar…

The slowed down Windows startup sounds were uploaded by the Soundcloud user, ideoforms, and are available for free download. Have a listen to the original Windows 95 start up sound for reference, and then venture into the ambient journey with the rest of the versions listed in the Soundcloud player below.